Regulated Rites

Julian Rivers

in The Law of Organized Religions

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199226108
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594243 | DOI:
Regulated Rites

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This chapter gathers together a variety of ways in which collective religious rites come to have legal significance. After touching briefly on historic examples of sanctuary and confession, it considers rites of passage such as baptism and naming ceremonies, circumcision, marriage and divorce, burial and cremation. Dietary requirements including the regulation of ritual slaughter and legal responses to cannabis usage are covered. Legal problems arising from unconventional worship in terms of planning control, noise pollution and nuisance, access to ancient monuments, and the advertising of spiritualist services are discussed. The conclusion drawn from this rather heterogeneous collection is that the accommodation and regulation of religious rites is highly pragmatic. It covers a wide-range of religions and uses diverse legal techniques. However, the judicial contribution is small.

Keywords: rites; rites of passage; ritual slaughter; worship; unconventional; accommodation; regulation

Chapter.  13556 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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